Welcome to our guide to 3 time saving apps for your business. A new year often evokes new ideas, new priorities, and new plans. When we looked back on our 2016 in business, we ask ourselves “What stands out the most?” What stood out to us the most was how we were frequently looking to save time and streamline our business. We found that 2016 was a big year for app usage with the focus on saving time. Below are the 3 apps we found to be most effective and helpful in our pursuit to save time.
MileIQ: We have been using this app for at least 2 years now. It offers both free and paid versions. We tried the free version and quickly discovered how useful this app would be for our business. Wow, was it ever! We love this app for its simplicity and ease of use! The app tracks your location in the background and automatically determines when you start driving and when you have arrived. A few minutes after arriving at your destination, you can see the trip you’ve just taken including where it started, where it ended, elapsed time, and distance travelled. It will also tell you approximately how much the trip was worth as a tax write-off. The next step is to simply select the vehicle used, if you have more than one in the app, and then partially swipe to the right for a business trip or left for a personal trip. The partial swipe allows you to further classify each trip as different types (business errands, client meeting, networking meetings, etc.), as well as for personal trips (commuting, medical, etc.). That brings me to the next perk! It can automatically log your trips to the Dr.’s office, hospitals, etc. as they are also tax deductible. At the end of the year at “Tax Time” all you need to do is simply print out the categorized list of trip types and hand it to your accountant, they’ll do the rest! We found this so valuable as we didn’t need to have a notepad in the car to log trips anymore, or worry that we’re missing out on valuable tax deductible miles!
Text Expander: This app by SmileSoftware is a lifesaver for us! As with most business owners, we don’t keep normal business hours. This means responding to emails at any given time, whether we’re at a computer or not. One of us has a habit of responding to client emails at the wee hours of the morning. With this app, in many cases she can respond to common questions from clients quickly, efficiently, and coherently. Our clients frequently praise us for being available nearly all of the time, as many of them are doctors or nurses who themselves hold odd hours. During “normal” business hours, the app also allows us to fill in business information such as name, address, email, phone number, etc. quickly so that we can do something more productive. We’ve also used this to be able to quickly respond to a referral post on Facebook when someone is reaching out for other people who may be available. We also use it in ordinary, day-to-day texts to friends or family when typing repetitive things like “I’ll be leaving soon”, or “Can you stop and pick up something for dinner”, or “I love you!”
World Clock by TIMEANDDATE.COM: World Clock is a simple and straightforward app that gives you the exact time down to a second. We found this app to be very useful this year as it saved us precious time in post production. We used to sync our two cameras and our second shooter’s two cameras manually so that when we download the cards after the event, all files fall into chronological order. Having them in this order made it much easier to keep everything organized and in the order in which they happened. This app allows us to simply take a photo of the phone screen with each camera at any time of day, and sync all of the photos based on those 3 or 4 photos. This eliminates any human error that can be created when setting the time manually in your camera’s menu, or the always tricky “ 1, 2, 3,…. Wait, are we going on 3? Or Go?”. This is a mostly free app that offers a paid version that disables ads.
If we learned anything this year, it was how beneficial it was to find simple things that are invaluable time savers. Things like these apps are key to helping us be more productive and allow us to focus more time on things that help us grow our business. We hope you find them just as valuable as we have!